Oct 1, 2012 10:00am EDT
the alien torched statute. -- alien tort statute. any civil action by agent alien's right toward the only committed and a violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the united states, this is an old statute enacted by the first congress which sat dormant for 170 years. then some civil-rights folks pick them up and they started bringing cases in which the plaintiff is foreign, the defendant is foreign, and report to a place in some foreign place. they come into in new york federal court and say you have jurisdiction over this and courts have been allowing some of these cases to go forward, strange as it sounds. this case raised the question -- this takes place in nigeria and the guy says he mistreated me, tortured me and so forth. these foreign oil companies were composite and help the nigerian company do this to me -- these companies work implicit. you can actually sue incorporation under this statute and that was their claim last year. the u.s. supreme court heard arguments in the case and did something very unusual -- they actually said to the parties we want to consider a broader q
Sep 27, 2012 8:00pm EDT
to get ahead of things, the plaintiffs here are attorneys, civil rights activists and others who are in regular contact with people overseas particularly people who might well be the subject of electronic surveillance by the federal government and they are challenging the law that allows electronic surveillance, this wiretapping because they're concerned that their case will be picked up. they're claiming to have standing to challenge this law because even though the surveillance might be directed overseas to people they're talking to get their dedication will get picked up in the course of that surveillance and so therefore they have the right to challenge it in court. that is the standing issue we we are dealing with. just to get to the merits for a minute, and the aftermath of the exposÉ in the mid-70's about various abuses in the intelligence community and in short in short is set up a system by which the executive branch would have to go to the court surveillance court here in d.c. and get permission when they wanted to do wiretapping for national security purpose to give s
Sep 27, 2012 1:00pm EDT
enacted by the first congress. but it sat dormant for 170 odd years. then some civil rights type folks picked it up and human rights type folks and started bringing cases in which the plaintiff is foreign, the defendant is foreign, and the tort took place in some foreign place and they are bringing it to u.s. courts. so a paraguayan plaintiff and a pair of wayne defendant and it took place in her way. so the ticket to a u.s. -- a paraguayan plaintiff and a paraguayan defendant and it took place in paraguay. so they take it to the u.s. in this particular case, k iobal takes place in nigeria. and the nigerian government mistreated me, torture and so forth and these will companies, foreign oil companies, were complice it, helping the nigerian government do this to me. so i am wanting to sue the oil companies in federal court. and the oil companies defendants say that this does not apply to corporations. you cannot sue a corporation under this statute. that was their claim last year at the supreme court and the u.s. supreme court heard arguments in the case and did something very unusual.